This week I photographed 3 sets of wonderful returning families with 2nd or 3rd babies and it made me remember something I’ve been wanting to post about pregnancy and baby photography.
It’s very easy to treat the 2nd or 3rd pregnancy as a “been there, done that” event, but I truly believe each child is an individual and must be celebrated. These 2nd pregnancy and baby portraits can easily be rushed due to toddlers running around and the new baby fussing, but please consider for a moment, what it means to somebody when they aren’t photographed as much as their sibling.
Many 2nd time and 3rd time parents tell me that they “just” want a picture of the children together or a new family portrait. But I have to stop them and remind them, “Do you remember what we photographed with your first baby?” I feel we must honor all of our children and so, you really should photograph your second or third or fourth children equally.
I was that youngest child who was never photographed, and I really think that’s why I became a photographer. Children look for all sorts of reasons why they aren’t loved as much as their other siblings.
My older sister was photographed EXTENSIVELY, probably five times more than I was. I understand that now, as a busy parent, because those first baby portraits were for my parents experiencing their first child. But in doing so, or rather, doing less photography of me just by myself, my parents, unknowingly, made me very aware that my sister was more important. Decades later I understand that they were busy and they were 2nd time parents when I came along, but growing up that way, believing that I was not important enough to warrant a portrait as much as my sister, was difficult. I remember pouring over her prolific baby photography and noticing that there was only one baby portrait of me by myself and any others were sibling portraits.
You may have heard of the Second Child Syndrome or the Third Child Syndrome. Please be aware that in your rush, your hectic schedule, your own rush for family portraits, that we are all individuals who make a family and we must leave behind memories of love for each one of our children. So as a youngest child, during your pregnancy and baby photography session I will remind you to think of your child first.